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Candidates 07, Elista Smackdown

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Oh it's on, baby. Candidates matches! They may be short and they may be leading to a championship tournament instead of a match, but they are definitely happening. It took a path more tortuous than walking on hot coals to get to the dentist, but despite various efforts at self-sabotage, the next step of the FIDE world championship cycle sees the first pawns pushed today, May 27, in Elista, Kalmykia, as the first brace of eight candidates matches start off. We previewed them and took predictions a few days ago. Have you picked your final four yet? Kasparov wasn't really making picks, but he said he would take the other three against Aronian ("unstable") in group one. Leko clear favorite in group two. Ponomariov strong favorite in three. Group four he rated a toss-up, even Kamsky could make it. Rules and regs recap:

The first six games are classical, and not FIDE faux-classical. 40/2, 20/1, g15'+30". The tiebreak, on its own day, is four rapid games of 25'+10", then two blitz games if needed, then armageddon if the seas are boiling and dogs and cats are living together.

The winner of 1-16 (Aronian-Carlsen) faces the winner of 8-9 (Adams-Shirov)
Winner of 2-15 (Leko-Gurevich) meets winner of 7-10 (Polgar-Bareev)
Winner of 3-14 (Ponomariov-Rublevsky) versus winner of 6-11 (Grischuk-Malakhov)
Winner of 4-13 (Gelfand-Kasimjanov) versus the winner of 5-12 (Bacrot-Kamsky)

The final four go to Mexico City. Kramnik, Anand, Svidler, and Morozevich are already seeded.

The new official site is here. That site also promises live coverage. If you'd like some audio to go with your visual, ICC Chess.FM is offering the first three days of coverage free to non-ICC members! That's GM analysts like Larry Christiansen, Joel Benjamin, and Var Akobian, plus a few other losers who didn't win the US Championship and need the money. Just kidding! Of course somebody has to be around to tell the GMs the game has gone on 12 moves in a different direction... To tune in to the free preview, this is the magic link: http://www.chessclub.com/chessfm/Preview.asx. More info: Play starts 7:00am Eastern Time (11:00 GMT - 13:00pm CET). Please note that while audio is free for all, analysis board and entry into the daily New In Chess trivia contest (where each day a 1-year subscription to New In Chess is the top prize) is restricted to full ICC members. Yasser Seirawan is doing his thing live at Playchess and FICS doesn't list it but it's hard to imagine they aren't doing a relay.


So how were the player pairings determined?

So how were the player pairings determined?

Wow, the bios are interesting, and well-written. With photos, and a higher percentage of definite articles than your average FIDE announcements. They even make a dig at the Azmai incident from Euro 2003. Maybe he has fallen out of grace lately.

Highlights of the opening ceremony: Gata Kamsky got a real camel, and is this Maia Chiburdanidze's hat Judit Polgar is wearing?

@Jim: They were ordered by elo back from 2006/1, and paired 1-16, 2-15, etc.

Have any of the players been injured in the bus "accident" ?

I heard that none was hurt.

"Leko clear favorite in group two."

But how can the Russians allow anybody else than Bareev to win it?

Pairings were determined by rating at the time of qualification, Jim. So Aronian was the #1 player and Carlsen #16, etc.

The games started. Shirov isn´t afraid of Adams´ French Tarrasch, it seems.

and Bareev did his homework, it seems

There was no any webpage of the Candidate Matches tournament until today- this is unacceptable. It takes several minutes to load a page and a few pages cannot be displayed. I get the following message: the website is encountering problems and blank. There is not a single photo from the opening ceremony at the official page. There is not even a link to photos. You can see no candidate matches logo at the home page. No history, no description of place where the tournament is held. I tried viewing live games. Got a blank screen. I clicked again- some ugly board with the ugliest pawns appeared. The viewer does not have basic features. It took several minutes to load a few games. On some I can see moves, on some not. Horrible. They use obsolete electronic boards, which the whole of Europe knows does not even work- the organizers end up inputting moves manually. Turkish Chess federation installed those electronic boards at the European Individual Chess Championship and they would not send a single move to the central computer in the same room. When will organizers ever learn? Design of the Candidate Matches webpage is third class- it does not even meet basic standards. Text is full of grammar errors. One would expect that a top tournament page would be designed by professionals. Global Chess intends to bring serious corporate sponsors by keeping their heads in the sand- they will loose all money in no time. Indeed. Very poor Internet presence. The player’s transportation was horrible- the bus had an accident. This injured some players psychologically. You cannot call the players in the hotel, because telephones do not reach so far. It is quite notable that Mig did not comment on any of the Candidate Matches web, travel and hotel problems, but smacked the United States championship every chance he got- lied, fabricated and manipulated information, whilst the United States provided a hundred times superior organization and web. Gee- seems that an old boys club is all in Elista (see Organizing Committee + Friedel). MiG- you are dust and your cover is busted. Get the first flight to Moscow and a charter flight to Elista to have one-on-one with aliens. Little Miggie snack. Oh well, your dirt if off my bookmark- there you go.

I love a good rant, especially those deteriorating into total gibberish, this one was quite entertaining!

Waaaaahhhh! Yes, because all events are equal and we should say the same things about every event where there are problems, right? I worked with the organization of past US championships, know many of the current players and organizers, take the organization personally and have much to say about it. Whoopee. More importantly, I barely criticized the Championship at all, let alone lied about it.

I've criticized FIDE up and down for bungling the organization of these matches, which were supposed to take place in October. I'm sure we'll all have plenty to say about the web coverage, just like about every other event we've ever watched. This delusion that my pointing out everyone had trouble getting live US Ch games was the first time I'd ever mentioned such a thing is totally insane. It's something I say every event other than Dutch events, pretty much. I haven't had time to look much at the candidates website. Nor have I tried to watch live there or read the information you are talking about, so commenting on it would be difficult. (I have a real job, alas, and it's a holiday weekend. Headed out now, in fact.) We'll see. Sounds pretty miserable as described. Similar experiences for others?

Anyone who thinks I was unduly critical of the US championship in any aspect has an agenda and/or hasn't read what I wrote. Early on I smacked the USCF for what I saw as discrepancies in fund allocation, that's about it. After some humorless twits made a big deal about the jokey hotel reviews I posted I went back and read every word I'd written on the championship. Certainly no lies or fabrications and very little negative material at all. I was happy to post comments saying the hotel was under new management and great. It's not as if I'd made up those reviews (which were from 2007) or as if I would attack an event I was donating $500 to and helped raise an additional $1300 for.

Love the tinfoil hat conspiracy additions at the end, Samurai. Comedy gold. FIDE thinks I'm a loose cannon pain in the ass and now I'm supposed to be in bed with Azmai, who I called a thug last time I checked. Other than getting software sent to Kamsky in Sofia, I haven't spoken with anyone at ChessBase in many months. (And have been doing radio with their rival, the ICC.) Awesome deductive powers to see through all that. I'm sure it's all part of the master plan.


Actually, I do see a candidate matches' logo. You know, at the top left of the page, where logos usually are. It's hard to miss, and if you look in the properties, the name of the image is cand_logo.gif.

Unfortunately after noticing how you didn't notice something so obvious, I stopped reading your post. But I'm sure you made a lot of clever points in the rest of your post as well.

"Tinfoil hat conspiracy additions", Mig? Do you deny that this website has wired over a thousand dollars to Miami's Cuban-American community in the past week alone?

It was all part of a clever plan:

1. Concocting a fake fundraiser to launder the money you received from Kasparov's The Other Russia movement.
2. Disrupting the USCF's championship organization to ensure Julio Becerra would be matched up in a high profile game.
3. Getting your friend Nakamura to lose the game in a brilliant manner. (for which he was probably repaid by getting a prominent mention on the main page of this website)

Unfortunately, Samurai, myself and other law-enforcement cooperating individuals see through your "Brilliancy" scheme and are watching you very closely.

"Wow, the bios are interesting, and well-written. With photos, and a higher percentage of definite articles than your average FIDE announcements. They even make a dig at the Azmai incident from Euro 2003. Maybe he has fallen out of grace lately."

Probably not....the comment was oblique enough that it slipped through the censor. Russians have a lot of experience with making coded references.

Now, if the FIDE Ethics Committee decides unequivocably in favor of Nigel Short, then we might be able to draw some inferences

From Vladimir Malakhov's bio:

"At the board Vladimir is a gentleman and never strives for a victory at all costs. During the European championship 2003, he allowed the opponent taking back a losing move in a critical game. He lost the game, but managed to win the silver medal."

Bareev should have won against Judith. I do not understand how he missed it.
Aronian smashed the poor kid. All the others were pretty logical results.

4 way tie between Nepo , Mamedov , Negi and Andriasian in the Young Stars 2007 tournament.


Speaking of that logo, I didn't know that the organizers of the candidate matches are fans of the Denver Broncos. =;-)

Interesting to see the list of sponsors of the Global website. Pepsi.ru was one. Have not idea what is on the Pepsi website as it appears to be only in Russian.
Will have to check out the Global website some more.
Did list to Yasser for awhile on Chessbase.

There's no similarity, the candidates' horse is smiling and is less muscular.

Kasparov's derisive comments on Aronian's stability have strangely passed under the bloggers' radar so far. A psychoanalyst would surely say that this outburst can only mean that the ex-WC feels uncounsciously threatened by the Armenian super-GM!


Kasparov calling anyone "unstable" was pretty funny, but the great man has been behaving pretty well lately and I didn't want to pick on him.

Wow, one common word in quotes is an outburst. I suppose two words would have been a manic tirade. Garry has complimented Aronian plenty of times in his NIC columns, btw. Would "erratic" have been more to your liking? Up and down? And looking at Aronian's results, unstable is hardly derisive. More like obvious, as it would be to say the same about Morozevich. -3 at Dortmund to +4 at Corus says enough.

Anyway, I'm rooting for him. I want to see another giant parade in Yerevan. Let the chess crown go to the country that would honor it most!

Mig, correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't Garry referring to Aronian's playing results, whereas the two gentlemen commenting above seem to think he was referring to Levon's psychological stability?

Of course his play/results. What else? It's not as if he knows him.

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 27, 2007 12:36 AM.

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